In the Summer Pavilion
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Paul David Young
September 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I like theater that challenges me emotionally and intellectually and interrogates the idea of theater in an interesting way. Besides writing plays, I write about visual art performance and the intersection of visual art and theater. I am interested in a range of performance, including theater, dance, visual art performance, installation, film, and video. I like to read plays for inspiration, to connect with dramatic literature across time and cultures. I recently translated a play, Heiner Müller’s Shakespeare adaptation, Anatomy Titus Fall of Rome. It was a very rich experience to work so closely with Müller’s text and Shakespeare’s wonderfully savage play.
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
My work has been produced at MOMA PS1 (Balcony Scene 2010) and other art venues, as well as the Lion Theater (Christians Having Sex in Silence), the Kraine Theater (Waking Up With Strangers), and, in Icelandic, at the Kaffileikhusid in Reykjavik (Times and Places).
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
We had a brief run of the play at the Living Theatre during the 2011 NY Fringe Festival, and audiences were really engaged by the play’s structure and themes. Many people could see themselves reflected directly onstage in the characters, in the evolving lives of Clarissa, Nabile, and Ben, while others looked at the play through the lens of having lived through life’s changes and wondering how they ended up where they did. We were told by many people that they continued to discuss the play for a long time afterward. I am sure that will be true for the audiences at 59e59 Theaters as well. It’s not a play for children. The themes are adult and there is a strong sexual component.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
It would be a beautiful thing if theater could bring about social change. What a gentle revolution it would be. I don’t think theater has that kind of power on its own, but I do think that theater can be a meaningful place for people to think and talk and feel and perhaps reach an understanding of themselves and their world that it is not possible in any other medium.